This is an engrossing novel based on a true relationship, that of Truman Capote and the matrons of New York society during the 50s and 60s. It deals with Capote’s greatest scandal among the “beautiful people” who adopted him as their “pet”, protege, and latest fad. Capote brought glitz and glamor wherever he went, as did the fifth avenue circle, his “Swans.” When Truman courted these glamorous women, specifically Babe Paley, a unique fashionista and trend setter ,the wife of CBS magnate, Bill Paley, he was the talk of the town. He was constantly found among this group of friends, inspiring them to confide their most private secrets to him. Although their relationship was purely platonic, Babe considered Truman her “True Heart” and Truman received the unconditional love and praise he had been refused by his mother and had never found from another person.
It was said about Capote, however, “…once a storyteller, always a storyteller–even when the stories aren’t his to tell,” and since the fame and praise from writing In Cold Blood dried up and the well of sources for stories ran dry, he wrote a scandalous “tell all” story which betrayed all his “Swans” had confided in him. Truman’s fall from “sought after” to “shunned” is chronicled in this novel, and his life’s end was as sordid and sad as it had been beautiful and happy when he was the favorite of his “Swans.”
This book, a 2016 publication was a New York Times bestseller and was not only popular in New York where the names were known and the settings familiar, but with all of us readers who wanted a peek at the lives of the rich and famous.